Volume 6, Number 3, Summer
The Ethical Ramifications of Mediation Theory
Paul G. Muscari, State University College of New York at Glens Falls
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer 1985, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 315-324, ISSN 0271-0137
Both the social and cognitive sciences have come to look upon human behavior as locked into a network of representation — a conceptual structure about the world being in a certain way — that is designed to mediate the way actions are to be interpreted and to satisfy the fulfillment of certain organizational needs. What this paper will argue is that such an interpretive framework has serious ethical implications which have often been ignored; that to make a structure independent of the individuals who compose it, where the processes involved are empowered with capacities superior to those of its members, makes it difficult to see how any human individual has power enough to be held responsible for his or her behavior.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Paul G. Muscari, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, State University College of New York, Glens Falls, New York 12801.
Logical Behaviorism and the Simulation of Mental Episodes
Dale Jacquette, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer 1985, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 325-332, ISSN 0271-0137
The doctrine of logical behaviorism is sometimes criticized for its apparent failure to distinguish the psychological experiences of persons in pain from the behavioral dispositions of persons who have merely decided to imitate pain behavior. The theory is defended against a number of alternative versions of the argument, none of which are determined to provide a decisive basis for rejecting logical behaviorism.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Dale Jacquette, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, University of Nebraska, 1010 Oldfather Hall, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0321.
An Introduction to the Perceptual Kind of Conception of Direct (Reflective) Consciousness
Thomas Natsoulas, University of California, Davis
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer 1985, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 333-356, ISSN 0271-0137
In view of the return of consciousness as psychological subject matter, there is good reason to begin to explore different conceptions of the various kinds of consciousness. The present article considers consciousness-our direct (reflective) awareness of some of our own mental episodes-from the perspective of the perceptual kind of conception of this inner access. First, consciousness in the present sense is distinguished from other kinds of consciousness. Then, the perceptual kind of conception of direct (reflective) consciousness is distinguished from inner-sense, self-intimational, behaviorist, and inferential conceptions. After some motivational comments, close attention is given, in the final section, to the perceptual kind of conception in the context of the last version of James J. Gibson’s visual perception theory.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Thomas Natsoulas, Ph.D., 1030 Fordham Drive, Davis, California 95616.
The Fallacious Origin of the Mind-Body Problem: A Reconsideration of Descartes’ Method and Results
Jerry L. Jennings, University of Pennsylvania
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer, 1985, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 357-372, ISSN 0271-0137
The problem of explaining the interaction of mind and body has been a central issue in the human sciences since the time of Descartes. However, a careful re-examination of Descartes’ epistemological procedure in the Meditations (1641/1960) reveals the “fallacious origin” of the classic mind-body division. In fact, the mind-body problem is not a genuine ontological split “discovered” by Descartes’ method, but rather an artifact of using a method already laden with ontological preconceptions about mental being. Furthermore, Descartes inadvertently shifted from his original (epistemological) goal of establishing certain knowledge to an implicit (ontological) investigation of mental being, which then compelled him to investigate his own mental existence. Unfortunately, this phenomenological investigation was severely biased by the exclusive attentive state of reflective thinking that is generated by the method. Consequently, Descartes’ inadequate phenomenological analysis further exacerbated the illusory “insight” that mind is separable from body.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Jerry L. Jennings, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Gates Pavilion, 9th Floor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104.
Consciousness, Naturalism, and Nagel
Owen Flanagan, Wellesley College and Duke University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer, 1985, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 373-390, ISSN 0271-0137
In this paper I criticize Thomas Nagel’s (1979) claim that consciousness is intractable from a naturalistic point of view. First, I show that there is a coherent conception of consciousness available to the naturalist which is both compatible with evolutionary theory and with certain widely acknowledged phenomenological features of conscious experience. Second, I discuss the adjustments that the naturalistic point of view requires to the traditional Cartesian conception of consciousness, in particular, to the doctrines of unity of consciousness and privileged access. Third, I argue that the emerging picture of the mind within cognitive science as comprised of a variety of modular, serial, and parallel processors undermines the thesis that conscious awareness is a unified kind with a standard causal role. Finally, I take up Nagel’s argument directly and disarm it by arguing that although Nagel is right that no theory can capture exactly the first person qualitative character of experience he is wrong to think this undermines the naturalistic picture of things. Indeed, I show that the naturalist easily can account for the fact Nagel makes so much of, namely, that conscious experience attaches uniquely to a single point of view.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Owen Flanagan, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708 until July 1986. After this time, write to Department of Philosophy, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts 02181.
The Transpersonal Psychology of Patanjali’s Yoga-Sutra (BookI: Samadhi): A Translation and Interpretation
Richard J. Castillo, University of Hawaii
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer, 1985, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 391-418, ISSN 0271-0137
The first book of Patanjali’s Yoga-Sutra, an ancient Indian meditation text (c. 200 B.C.-200 A.D.), is given a new English translation and its psychological framework is found to be based on a fundamental duality in human consciousness-personal consciousness and transpersonal consciousness. These two structures of consciousness are similar to two hypothesized structures of consciousness in modern Western psychology-the “action” and “receptive” modes of cognition. These structures of consciousness are associated respectively with the automatization and de-automatization of cognitive processes. The key dynamic of meditation is found to be the self-manipulation of attention. The phenomenological changes in consciousness which result from meditation are discussed, including the nature of enlightenment, which is theorized to be the permanent establishment of transpersonal consciousness.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Richard J. Castillo, Department of Anthropology, William James Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.
The Effects of Oppositional Meaning in Incidental Learning: An Empirical Demonstration of the Dialectic
Richard N. Williams and John Paul Lilly, Brigham Young University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer, 1985, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 419-434, ISSN 0271-0137
Two studies are presented which examine whether oppositional meanings facilitate learning and memory. Both studies employed an incidental learning paradigm. In the first study the learning list consisted of antonym and non-antonym word pairs. Antonym pairs were recalled significantly better than non-antonym pairs. This effect was stronger for the subjects who performed the semantic rather than the non-semantic incidental tasks. In the second study, the semantic incidental tasks consisted of generating a synonym or antonym to each word in a learning list. There was no advantage in recall due to generating either a synonym or an antonym; however, analysis of recall errors revealed that subjects who generated antonyms made more semantic than non-semantic false recall errors, while subjects who generated synonyms made fewer false recall errors overall, but made more non-semantic than semantic errors. It is suggested that the meaning dimension created by the oppositional task was present for subjects during recall, but that the particular words were not. It is suggested that oppositional meanings are influential in learning and memory. Results are discussed in terms of Rychlak’s Logical Learning Theory. Implications for cognitive models of memory and larger issue of human free will are discussed.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Richard N. Williams, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602
Book Author: Lloyd deMause. New York: Creative Roots, 1984
Reviewed by William F. Stone, University of Maine at Orono
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer, 1985, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 435-438, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] This book is the story of the feelings and the fantasies that we shared in Reagan’s America… it is not difficult to describe what happened in Reagan’s America. It is only difficult to believe that we wanted it that way. (Author’s Foreword)
Requests for reprints should be sent to William F. Stone, Department of Psychology, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469.
The Moebius Seed: A Visionary Novel of Planetary Transformation
Book Author: Steven M. Rosen. Walpole, New Hampshire: Stillpoint Publishing, 1985
Reviewed by Steven Connelly, Indiana State University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer, 1985, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 439-442, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] The Moebius Seed is an optimistic book: it presents a vision of “planetary transformation” accomplished by the hidden capacities of the human mind. The mind’s untapped resources, briefly revealed now and again in parapsychological episodes such as out of body experiences, surface to preserve humanity — indeed, the earth itself — during a time of impending destruction. The forces of destruction are essentially a paranoid military establishment, East and West, that perceives conspiracies in every nook and cranny, and whose planet-threatening suspicions trigger a genuine planet-wide “conspiracy,” a community of “selves,” of “soul-mating,” a “Moebius Seed” with the potential to fertilize the “Planetary Egg” and “transform the world.” This transformation is positive; it has none of the ambiguity of other novels of mental saltation — such as Arthur Clarke’s Childhood’s End — and it suggests that, beyond the novel, if we were all to conspire in the “Moebius way” a species-wide mental metamorphosis might be possible.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Steven Connelly, Ph.D., Department of English, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana 47809.
The Nightmare: The Psychology and Biology of Terrifying Dreams
Book Author: Ernest Hartmann. New York: Basic Books, 1984
Reviewed by Matthew C. Brennan, Indiana State University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer, 1985, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 443-446, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] What is a nightmare? Although most people have about one nightmare a year and had nightmares more often before the age of five or six, only recently have psychologists begun to understand the true nature of terrifying dreams. In the nineteenth century, it was believed that nightmares represented visits of devils or evil spirits. A graphic example of this is Henry Fuseli’s The Nightmare, which depicts a grotesque, gnomish creature squatting on the prostrate torso of a sleeping woman. But now I realize Fuseli mistitled his painting: the basic but profound point of Ernest Hartmann’s intriguing new book, The Nightmare, is that the nightmare is confused with two other distinct psychophysiological entities-the night terror and the traumatic nightmare. According to Hartmann’s definitions, what Fuseli personifies is a night terror, not a nightmare. But the value of Hartmann’s study does not lie alone in the improvements it affords for classification and diagnosis of terrifying dreams; more important, in analyzing those who suffer from these problems, The Nightmare contains groundbreaking implications for their treatment and, in the case of artists, sheds light on the relation of nightmares to their creativity.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Matthew C. Brennan, Ph.D., Department of English, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana, 47809.
A Tool for Understanding Human Differences
Book Authors: Tyra Arraj and Jim Arraj. Chiloquin, Illinois: Tools for Inner Growth, 1985
Reviewed by Victor H. Jones, Indiana State University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer, 1985, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 447-448, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] That the physical types discussed by Sheldon and the psychological types discussed by Jung may be combined into a tool that helps us understand ourselves and others is the idea behind A Tool for Understanding Human Differences. The authors of this book discuss some of the ways by which a person might identify and understand his or her physical, temperamental, and psychological type; show how the type may be developed; and speculate on the future of typological studies. The first two parts of the book are addressed to the general reader, while the last is addressed to both the general reader and to “people who have a professional interest in the field of human differences….”
Requests for reprints should be sent to Victor H. Jones, Ph.D., Department of English, Indiana State University, Terre Haute 47809.
Freud’s Rules of Dream Interpretation
Book Author: Alexander Grinstein. New York: International Universities Press, 1983
Reviewed by Gordon Patterson, Florida Institute of Technology
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Summer, 1985, Vol. 6, No. 3, Pages 449-450, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] The psychoanalytic method of treatment became possible in the moment when Freud recognized that the symptoms of certain kinds of neurotic patients made sense. During treatment Freud was surprised to discover that “patients, instead of bringing forward their symptoms, brought forth dreams” (Freud, 1916-1917, p. 83). This led Freud to conclude that dreams also made sense. In 1899, Freud presented both a general theory of neurosis and a systematic approach to dream analysis in The Interpretation of Dreams. In that moment psychoanalysis became a reality.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Gordon Patterson, Ph.D., Department of Humanities, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida 32901.